Sustainability in Design: Life Sciences & Technology
Building, University of California, Santa Barbara
Carey Woo, AIA, NBBJ
NBBJ endeavors to incorporate sustainable design into every project
regardless of whether the client is interested in pursuing a LEED
certification. The new Life Sciences and Technology Building for
the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) is no exception.
The Life Sciences Building is a four-story, 78,000 square foot research
laboratory and administration building for the UCSB Biology Department.
The project is currently under construction and is scheduled to
be completed in the Fall of 2004.
Not only was the goal of the design team to create a building that
is sustainable, cost effective, and efficient, but the primary objective
was also to design a building that would offer a healthy environment
for the researchers, staff, and students that occupy the building.
The following are a few of the measures utilized in designing the
Life Sciences Building to achieve the Design Team's goals for sustainability:
Site and Building:
- Offices with operable windows are located on the north elevation
to minimize heat gain.
- The building form encloses a courtyard which creates an outdoor
room for teaching.
- Primary circulation takes place in open-air spaces.
- Landscape materials minimize heat islands.
- Landscaping is irrigated using reclaimed water.
- Mature trees shade west-facing office windows.
- Exterior sunscreens on the southern elevation minimize heat
- Nearly all non-laboratory spaces are naturally ventilated with
- Exhaust fan cools offices at night.
- Exposure of structural concrete in offices takes advantage of
thermal mass to minimize thermal swing and reduce heating/cooling
- Connection to campus chilled water loop eliminated the need
for on site chiller equipment.
- CFC-based refrigerants are not used in the building.
- Local and recycled materials are used in construction.
- Energy management controls are used throughout the building.
- Direct line of site to vision glazing is available in 90 percent
of all regularly occupied spaces.
- Use of high volume fly ash in concrete.
- Use of waterless urinals to reduce water consumption.
- No carpeting in offices reduces particulate matter in the air.
- Recycled content construction materials and low VOC materials
The Poster for the UCSB Life Sciences and Technology Building will
graphically highlight the sustainable design aspects of the project,
demonstrating how they not only enhance the environment for its
occupants, but also lead to greater research interaction and collaboration.
This approach to building design should not only be geared towards
achieving a low environmental impact, but should also provide maximum
environmental quality for the occupants.
It is the goal of NBBJ to design buildings that are environmentally
sensitive. To this end, we review the "whole building"
to find opportunities for integrating sustainable design. The design
team reviews all aspects of the lab building utilities, such as
maximizing the equipment efficiencies beyond the basic code requirements
and studying water reduction methods, to help our clients reduce
energy consumption and reduce maintenance costs. Additionally, specification
of green materials aids in providing a healthy working environment
for the building occupants. The design for the Life Sciences and
Technology Building for the University of California, Santa Barbara
typifies this approach.
Carey Woo, AIA, is an Associate at NBBJ and is a LEED
Accredited Professional. Carey has over 15 years of experience in
the field of Architecture in all phases of design and construction.
Past projects include manufacturing facilities and research and
development buildings for institutional and corporate clients. Carey
is a leader in the NBBJ Sustainable Design Group which provides
valuable sustainable design guidance for all NBBJ projects world
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